Santos was in the fencing club before I joined. At the time, the club had an abundance of people named Matt. Rather than designate me “protastant Matt” or “short Matt,” Santos pointed at me and said, “You’re Chuck.” His words had a profound effect on the rest of the team. Everyone else instantly forgot my real name.
He was soft-spoken and rather painful. Every soft punch, gentle poke and sardonic stare had a tendency to hurt more if Santos was doing it. Unlike Greg, who took joy in hitting people and causing them pain, Santos just couldn’t help it. Greg forged his body into a punching machine while Santos was simply born with sharp knuckles and a knack for hitting sensitive areas.
Santos liked to alter his workspace in subtle ways to resemble himself. He drew pictures of angry, toothy faces under innocent things like stress balls and pads of sticky notes. Everything looked normal on the surface, but once you started poking around you would make interesting discoveries. Santos was like that. If you didn’t pay attention and put in some effort, you were going to miss out on the Santos experience.
He took great delight in showing me what he had altered within his office. He probably took even greater delight watching me overturn everything on his desk just to find something else he had altered. I used to visit Santos’s office for just that reason. He was a good sport about it.